Saturday, November 29, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "Facing Financial Problems"

The Great Commission
Part 3: Facing Financial Problems
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 30th – Grace Steadman
December 7th – Walker Spriggs
December 14th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 21st – Lori Ulman
December 28th – Lynnette Higgins


† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord

† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Financial Problems


Acts 3:6
6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

The Apostles were not rich as some claim.

Jesus did not have many houses across the land like some claim.

The eye of the needle was symbolic of a sewing needle, not the name of a big gate.

When Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through that eye of a needle that a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, He meant what He said.

This was Jesus response when the rich young man did not want to give up his earthly riches to follow Jesus.

We spoke about our attitude over the last couple weeks with facing spiritual trials and illness, and how God wants us to have a certain attitude that will change our situation around us.

It is the same with any trial.

Our attitude is KEY!


† I Timothy 6:3-11

3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

We do not give to get…

Godliness is not a means to financial gain.

If you do good so you can receive a reward, then you have ruined your chance at that reward you would have received if you gave because it was right.

If you give to get, then you gave for the wrong reason, and you will not be rewarded.

We are to give because it’s right, not so that we may receive financial gain.

If you do for praise of others, to be esteemed by others, the scriptures say you have already received your reward.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

Why do we consider ourselves rich by the world’s standards?

Why do we follow the Lord in all things except when it comes to money?

We are so quick to serve as long as it doesn’t really cost us.

Are we really having financial problems?

Or, is it we think we are because we are not satisfied with what the Lord has provided us in our lives?

We brought nothing into this world, and we will take nothing out.

According to the scripture I just read, godliness with contentment is great gain.

Those are riches we should seek.

Or are we spoiled little kids…no matter what our Father gives, it’s not enough and we want more?

The scripture says that if you are godly, if you have food and clothing you will be content with that.

If you are not content with what the Lord has provided, your focus is wrong.

The scripture says so.

The idea and notion of getting rich, or being rich comes from this capitalist society which teaches riches of financial gain to consider yourself successful.

This wrong teaching is destroying the very fabric of our society.

Why do those who become rich turn to drugs and alcohol? Because they were taught in this country that money solves all your problems. And when they became rich, they found themselves worse off than before.

Why is there so much crime among the poor neighborhoods? Because they have been taught that if you have money, everything will be OK, and so getting money becomes the focus and they rob, cheat and steal to get what they think is the answer to their lives.

Why would the rich young man not follow Jesus?

He obviously was a believer in God, and by his own admission kept the commandments and was interested in getting closer to God by following Jesus…

But there was a problem.

He would not choose the Lord over his riches.

The wealth of this earth was more than the Lord to him.

How many times in our lives do we see otherwise godly people flip in a moment when it comes to their money?

How many times have we seen otherwise godly people throw everything that is important to God out the window when it comes to their riches and finances?

How many times in your life, have you ignored what you know the Lord wants for monetary gain or security of your riches?

How many times have you made Jesus second to your money?

† I Timothy 6:17-19

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

How do you know if someone is putting their hope in wealth?

You will know them because they will disregard God’s law for their gain.

Every time you make a choice for your financial gain at the cost of the Lord…you have shown who your master is, and who you serve.

It’s not our words that show where our heart lies, but where our treasures are.

The rich young man made it clear when he walked away from Jesus’ words to keep his wealth, who his master was.

† Luke 12:15

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

† Proverbs 11:28

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.


† Philippians 4:11-13

10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

† Luke 12:22-24

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!


† Matthew 6:31-34

31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Are you seeking FIRST His Kingdom and Righteousness?

If you are seeking righteousness then you will be standing for the word in this world when society tells you that sin is OK.

If you are seeking righteousness then you will be making choices daily for HIS KINGDOM.

When times come and you have to make a choice between the word of the Lord and riches…if you are seeking righteousness you will choose the Lord.

The financial problems we face most of the times are not problems at all…

We believe they are problems because we have been conditioned by culture to say what is “doing good” and what is “being poor”.

God says not to focus on these things, not to worry about building your riches on earth, but to build them in heaven, and we do that by choosing righteousness over our personal gain.

How can we say “I have crucified my flesh for Christ…” in one breath, yet choose financial gain for our flesh over the word and truth of the Lord?

† Psalm 34:6-10

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

If you choose the things of the Lord, He will protect and provide.


† Philippians 4:19

…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "Facing Serious Illness"

The Great Commission
Part 2: Facing Serious Illness
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 23rd – Lynnette Higgins
November 30th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 7th – Walker Spriggs
December 14th – Grace Steadman
December 21st – Lori Ulman


† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord
† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness


We were created from the dust of the earth, and what makes us “alive” is the spirit of life that God breathed into us.

We were created to live forever in perfection on earth, sustaining our physical bodies by eating of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.
The only other tree mentioned by name in the garden was the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.

Why must we die?

Because God said, if you eat from the Tree of Knowledge you shall surely die.


Because if we ate from that tree, we would sin against God.

When we sin against God we are separated from Him.

God stated a fact that if Adam and Eve sinned against God, they would be separated from Him, which meant they would no longer be in the Garden because of sin.

But that is where the Tree of Life was.

And without the Tree of life, our bodies can not live forever.

Death has now become a part of life, just as God said in the times of Noah, “How long will I allow man to sin against me? I will limit them to 120 years of life”

We, who follow Jesus Christ, have redeemed Spirits, but our flesh is still sinful.

This is why we receive a NEW body after death.

As the scripture describes it, we shall take off the corruptible, and put ON incorruption, and take of mortality and put ON immortality.

We will become in our new bodies, perfect, sinless, and everlasting, our sinful flesh finally dead to us, and nothing left but our spirit, and God’s Holy Spirit.

Knowing the scriptures state that it is appointed to all men to die once, we know our time is coming.

Many will pray for the coming rapture more out of fear of dying than wanting justice.

Many of God’s people have feared the unknown.

Some fear the illness or sicknesses that come with the aged.

Perhaps some of us have had horrible experiences with loved ones passing, and it has painted a very ugly picture of what our fate will be?

But the scriptures promise that we can have victory in life, and that in all situations we should focus on the Lord alone, and His strength will be sufficient.


Genesis 2:15-17 Warning of death to come

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

God says we will die…meaning both spiritual death, which is separation from God because of sin, and physical death because our flesh can no longer be sustained perfectly by the Tree of Life.

Satan speaks – You shall surely not die. Trying to play on words to convince Eve that she will not die…at least not immediately.

II Corinthians 4:15-18 Do not lose heart when you are wasting away

15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Psalm 77:4-14
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:
7 "Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"
10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High."
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.

Psalm 48:14

8 As we have heard,
so have we seen
in the city of the LORD Almighty,
in the city of our God:
God makes her secure forever.
9 Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them to the next generation.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 49:15 – Of the sons of Korah

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the utterance from my heart will give understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:
5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me-
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
7 No man can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for him-
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough-
9 that he should live on forever
and not see decay.
10 For all can see that wise men die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses [a] forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had [b] named lands after themselves.
12 But man, despite his riches, does not endure;
he is [c] like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
14 Like sheep they are destined for the grave, [d]
and death will feed on them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning;
their forms will decay in the grave, [e]
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem my life [f] from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;
17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him.
18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—
and men praise you when you prosper-
19 he will join the generation of his fathers,
who will never see the light of life .
20 A man who has riches without understanding
is like the beasts that perish.

II Corinthians 5:1-10

1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Psalm 104:33-34

33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.

Psalm 146:2

2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.


James 5:14-20

14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

II Kings 20:1-7

1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.' "
7 Then Isaiah said, "Prepare a poultice of figs." They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.

Some may argue that it was the figs that brought healing…but who are we to say by what means the Lord brings healing? Whether it be miraculous, through medicine or natural means? Do not all things belong to the Lord?

Isn’t everything on earth at His disposal?

Regardless the means, nothing happens without the definitive approval by the Word of the Lord.

Regardless of the means, all praise and honor must go to Him for ALLOWING those means to be successful!

Acts 3:1-8 Peter heals a crippled beggar

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Silver or gold I do not have…..

But what I have I give you…

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Growing in the Lord "How-To: Have the Joy of the Lord"

The Great Commission
Part 9 – Growing in the Lord
HOW-TO: Have the Joy of the Lord
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 9th – Grace Steadman
November 16th – Lori Ulman
November 23rd – Lynnette Higgins
November 30th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 7th – Walker Spriggs


† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord


Joy of the Lord…

JOY of the LORD, not OUR joy!

To have the Joy of the Lord means to KNOW that the Lord is pleased with you, to a point where HE has joy IN YOU.

This is the Joy of the Lord.

We, always thinking of ourselves and our pleasures, think that Joy of the Lord is for US to be happy.

John 15:11-12
9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

As the Father loved me (Jesus), Now (you) remain in my love.

IF you obey my commands, you remain in my love.

I told you this so MY JOY (you obeying commands and staying IN His love) MY JOY may be IN you.

Joy of the Lord is that you Obey His Commands…and thus remain in His love.

AND…that your joy may be complete.

What is OUR JOY??

Our joy is complete in KNOWING that we are obeying Christ’s commands, and in doing so He has joy in us!! And we remain in His love!

Having the Joy of the Lord has to do with pleasing the Lord, not us being happy all the time.

This scripture shows us that OUR joy should be in the fact that the Lord has Joy in us!
Matthew 25:21 – parable of the talents
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

He was called a faithful servant.

Faithful over the little he was entrusted with.

And because of his obedience, he could share in the Joy of the Lord.

It is obvious, that it is faithfulness here that is being rewarded.

God has NOT called us to be successful, but rather to be faithful.

Faithful means to trust in Him and His Word…obedience to His Commands.

How to have the Joy of the Lord?

When we obey Christ’s commands, He says that we remain in His Love.

This means, if we disobey His commands, we leave His love.

Is obedience important to the Lord?


The great commission tells us this!

“Make Disciples (Christ Followers) of all the nations (all nationalities), baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teach them to OBEY ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU.”

And if you do this, the Lord promises in the next sentence, “And I will be with you always, until the end of the age.”

Our mission, the Great commission, the command from the Lord Himself on what we are to do while we are here on earth is this!

Get people saved, get them baptized, not in the baptism of John, but Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and TEACH THEM TO OBEY ALL THAT CHRIST HAS COMMANDED YOU!

When we obey Christ’s commands, we remain in His love.

While we are in His love, He tells us that His joy in our obedience should be our Joy.

We should be happy we are living pleasing lives for the Lord!

While we are obedient and remaining in the Lord’s Love, we can rejoice and take joy in some wonderful promises!!

Luke 10:20
…rejoice because your names are written in Heaven!

Psalm 45:7
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.

Why do you have joy? Because you lived obediently (righteousness) and hate wickedness (sin in the world) therefore God anoints you with oil (symbolizes the Holy Spirit) with joy.

1 Thessalonians 1:6
6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

When we obey, we remain in Christ’s love.

When we have Christ’s love, the Holy Spirit dwells within us.

When we obey it brings the Lord joy, and when we bring the Lord joy through our obedience, we in turn have joy from the Spirit of God which dwells within us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Growing in the Lord "How-To: Prise the Lord"

The Great Commission
Part 8 – Growing in the Lord
HOW-TO: Praise the Lord
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 2nd – Walker Spriggs
November 9th – Grace Steadman
November 16th – Lori Ulman
November 23rd – Lynnette Higgins
November 30th – Deacon Kurt Ulman


† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord



1 Peter 2:12 – Living Stone & Chosen people called to praise Him
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame." 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone," 8 and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.


Psalm 149:1-9
1 Praise the LORD. [Hebrew Hallelu Yah] Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 150:1-6
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.


Psalm 34:1
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

Psalm 113:1-3
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
2 Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.

Acts 16:25-34
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."

32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Psalm 146:1-3
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.


Psalm 50
1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 "Gather to me my consecrated ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for God himself is judge.
7 "Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
O Israel, and I will testify against you:
I am God, your God.
8 I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices
or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the creatures of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
16 But to the wicked, God says:
"What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You speak continually against your brother
and slander your own mother's son.
21 These things you have done and I kept silent;
you thought I was altogether like you.
But I will rebuke you
and accuse you to your face.
22 "Consider this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue:
23 He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me,
and he prepares the way
so that I may show him the salvation of God."

Jeremiah 33:10-11
10 "This is what the LORD says: 'You say about this place, "It is a desolate waste, without men or animals." Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither men nor animals, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying,
"Give thanks to the LORD Almighty,
for the LORD is good;
his love endures forever."
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.


Psalm 119:108
Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.

John 7:37-39
37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.